BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
April 24 2017
Moose Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 21 miles. Access is an boat landing or canoe launch at Moose Lake. Many trip options for paddlers with additional portages. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.
Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Moose Lake - 25
Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Moose Lake - 25
Knife Lake 2014 - 3rd Time Around
June 09, 2014
Number of Days:
This June we took our 3rd consecutive trip to the South Arm of Knife Lake. Our group this year included my 2 boys Dalen and Landon, wife Steph, brother Scott and a friend of ours Pat. Pat was a great addition to our group as he has all of his own gear and is a very experienced back country camper. This year was a little special as it was the first trip for our 3 year old Landon. What made it special is that it was 3 years to the week when I was packing for my first trip to Knife when Steph called and said something was wrong with Landon and we had to go to Children's Hospital MPLS. 2 days before we were set to leave I had to cancel the trip because there was still no answer to his condition. It turns out he was abused at daycare and the extent of his injuries were unknown at the time. 3 years later he has made a full recovery and was really excited to see the BWCA his older brother Dalen keeps telling him about. We had a great trip to Knife for the 3rd year in a row. The bugs were minimal, fishing was good, weather was tolerable and time with family and friends was priceless. This year also marked the 10th consecutive year that Steph and I have made at least one trip to the BWCA!
Day 1 of 6
Monday, June 9, 2014[paragraph break] We left for Ely at about 2 pm from Hutchinson and got checked in at Voyageur North Outfitter around 8 pm. Lynn got us set up in the bunkhouse and then we unloaded our gear from the truck so we could do a little packing before heading out in the morning. We still had a little time left and Dalen had been looking forward to supper so we headed down to the Ely Steakhouse for a steak and a cold drink. We made it back to the bunkhouse for a hot shower and some last minute packing and a little sleep before heading out in the morning.
Day 2 of 6
Tuesday, June 10, 2014[paragraph break] The alarm clocks started going off at 4:30. We got all of our gear loaded into the pickup and headed out for breakfast. We enjoyed a hot breakfast and coffee at Britton's as we do every year, the food is always great! Then it was off to TGO bait shop where we pickup up some lures, bait and great advice. After the bait shop it was off to Vossburgh's to catch our 7:00 tow with Willy up to Birch portage. We were on the water at 7 and the tow ride up Moose was a great start to the morning as the lake was calm and the skies were mostly sunny. We made good time paddling and portaging through Birch and Carp as our new group found a rhythm that worked for us. Once we reached Knife we took a few minutes and checked out the Ribbon Rock which we missed last year. We pulled off on a small island just east of Robbins Island to grab a small snack and tie our rods up so we could troll while we paddled to the South Arm. After scanning the South Arm it was evident finding an open campsite was going to be an issue but we finally found an open one in a small bay on the north side of the South Arm at about 3 pm. On the maps its listed as #1436 and was actually a pretty decent site but had next to nothing as far as landing a canoe goes.[paragraph break] Once camp was set up we got the reflector oven out, started a fire and made pizza for supper. We got everything cleaned up and went out on the lake to do some fishing. My canoe stayed in shallow water while the boys caught a bunch of smallies on wacky worms. Dalen found that the large exposed rock near the inlet of the bay was his hot spot. Scott and Pat moved to deeper water and were able to catch a few lake trout.
Day 3 of 6
Wednesday, June 11, 2014[paragraph break] We slept in a little, but when we woke we were greeted with sunny skies and no wind, this was going to be a great day! We made biscuits in the reflector oven and covered them with white gravy and pork sausage, one of our favorites. We took the short portage near camp into a small bay in the North Arm. We caught several bass, sunfish and a few pike. As we made our way out to the main body of the North Arm we were surprised to see that most of the campsites in the North Arm were occupied as we traveled SW toward Thunder Point. The lake was a sheet of glass and with full sun it was quite hot which created a real humid feel, the feel of approaching rain. We trolled for lake trout on the way to Thunder Point catching a few along the way. We reached Thunder Point and made a quick lunch before hiking the trail to the overlook. We've paddled past Thunder Point several times but never took the time to hike to the top. After reading all the posts here from others who said it's worth it we took the hike and were very glad we did. We ran into ChicagoMike, a fellow BWCA.com member and chatted for a few minutes. [paragraph break] On the way back to camp from Thunder Point we paddled by a group that had just run a bear out of their campsite. We couldn't see the bear but a guy on shore said they had taken all of the precautions but the bear had ripped a tent apart and gotten some food. We got back to camp and made tacos for supper before cleaning up and heading back out to fish some more. Dalen insisted we fish by his rock but tonight it didn't produce as well as last night. The night ended with skies clouding up to the west. To this point the bugs have not given us any problems at all, maybe the permetherin, maybe they're not that bad yet? Either way not having to deal with them makes for happy campers.
Day 4 of 6
Thursday, June 12, 2014[paragraph break] We awoke to rain in the middle of the night. We listened to the weather radio and the daily report called for scattered showers with some moderate winds coming up later in the afternoon. We waited for the sound of the light rain to stop before getting out of the tent at 8:30. Started a fire and cooked 2 batches of blueberry muffins in the reflector oven for breakfast. After cleaning up and getting everyone ready for the day we headed for Eddy Falls. The falls were running very high this year and it was cool to check them out while nobody else was there. We trolled for pike with no luck before cooking lunch at the western most site. Halfway through lunch the showers started but looked pretty harmless, little did we know what was coming. We packed up lunch and decided to head back to camp. The showers turned to a downpour while portaging back to Knife. We were halfway across the main body of the South Arm when out of nowhere the wind started blowing hard and blew us off our path twice. We took refuge on shore for a little bit before getting things reorganized and getting the boys situated before finding a different path to get back. We took a path that let us paddle directly into the wind and after a long, slow paddle we made it back to camp. We later found out a group of scouts were caught and had to be evacuated from the same storm. We got back to camp and changed into dry clothes and played games and read books from 3-6. It was still raining but we made a makeshift shelter to cook and eat supper under. I'm hoping Santa knows Dan at CCS and delivers a much needed tarp for X-mas this year. The chili and grilled cheese were great on what turned out to be a cool damp evening. The rain continued until 10 pm.
Day 5 of 6
Friday, June 13, 2014[paragraph break] We woke up at 5 am to clear blue skies and a light breeze. Everyone had a quick breakfast of coffee and toast while we broke camp. We paddled back east on Knife en route to Vera. The whole group made good time getting across the portage and we were setting up camp at site #1243 at 9:45. As soon as camp was set up we started drying some gear out from the day before as it was sunny and windy at the campsite. After a huge spaghetti lunch we headed out to fish walleyes which we have done very well on in the past. Our efforts proved to be unsuccessful as the mayflies seemed to be in the middle of a huge hatch. We returned to camp and made biscuits and gravy for supper before trying fishing for a few more hours. We fished lighted bobbers and leeches until it was dark and still didn't have any luck. [paragraph break]Before falling asleep we tuned into the weather radio to listen to the forecast and get a plan together for the rest of the trip. It was bad news as they were calling for more storms to pop up in the area with some pretty strong winds as well.
Day 6 of 6
Saturday, June 14, 2014[paragraph break] Woke up to rain on the tent again this morning. Our original plan was to be picked up at the Splash Lake portage on Sunday but when we checked the weather the forecast called for thunderstorms and 20-25 mph NW winds on Sunday. It was not an easy decision but we decided instead of sitting in less than favorable weather today and paddle in a thunderstorm tomorrow we would leave for home today. The one thing that made the decision a little easier was the fact the wind was blowing 10-15 mph out of the east which would be at our backs while we paddled out. While crossing the portage to Ensign we were able to get a hold of our tow and arranged to meet at Splash at 1:30. We made it back to town and got cleaned up at VNO before making one last stop at the Ely Steakhouse before the 6 hour drive home.[paragraph break] [paragraph break] All in all we had a pretty good trip. The bugs were there but not much to worry about, permetherin sure has worked great for us. The fishing on Knife was very good, we caught plenty of lakers and a pile of smallies. The investment into some fast drying clothes and water shoes was a good one. I've converted to a wet foot paddler and wish I would have done it a long time ago, our canoe will last a lot longer because of it. In all of my trips I've never seen the weather change so fast. One day would be dead calm, sunny and 80, the next it would be wind and rain. On a final note Steph and I could not be more proud of the boys, they soak in the BW experience like sponges and have talked about it non stop since returning. We sure hope they continue to have the desire to keep going back, maybe they can carry our gear some day!
discuss this trip report (13 comments) - last post on August 02, 2014